Argentina hoping to entice remote workers with new visa

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina on Tuesday joined a growing list of countries trying to woo remote workers by implementing a temporary visa targeted at digital nomads, who can work anywhere in the world as long as they have a good internet connection.

Interior Minister Wado de Pedro said the government hopes the new visa will help the country bring in much-needed hard currency by attracting people interested in working temporarily in Argentina.

Those workers will “live the Argentine experience and return to their countries being the main salespeople of this beautiful country,” he said.

Digital nomads usually have a higher purchasing power and spend an average of around $3,000 a month, which is double what a regular tourist might spend, said Florencia Carignano, the national director for migration.

“We want to attract people who after the pandemic changed their mentality and now prioritize their freedom, want to visit new places and enjoy life in a different way,” she said. “The pandemic accelerated a trend that was already happening.”

Argentina will become the second country in South America to officially launch a visa targeting remote workers. Neighboring Brazil did so earlier this year.

“We know there are around 40 million people around the world who are digital nomads,” Carignano said.

The new visa will be valid for six months and can be renewed once, compared to a maximum of a three-month stay for a regular tourist visa. It will also provide a series of benefits, including discounts on flights with state-owned airline Aerolíneas Argentinas.

Only citizens of countries that do not require a tourist visa to enter Argentina will be eligible to apply. Applicants will have to submit a resume and a document that proves their work relationship with at least one employer.

Dozens of countries around the world, including several Caribbean islands, have launched programs to woo digital workers in part to make up for the shortfall in tourism as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were waiting for this decision by the government as it will undoubtedly have an impact on the city,” said Fernando Straface, international relations secretary for the city of Buenos Aires.

Argentina’s capital has been particularly active in trying to get remote workers to move to Buenos Aires, touting its solid infrastructure and the relative weak value of the local currency.

“We are an ideal destination for digital nomads because of the quality and cost of living,” Straface said. “Buenos Aires has consolidated its global reputation as a the leading city in the region to live, study and work.”

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